Member Jen Provenzano is in Perugia for the month of September, after being awarded a one-month scholarship to study at the Universita per Stranieri. Here is her second report from the field.
Want to study in Perugia like Jen? Apply for a 2018 sister city scholarship. Application deadline is Oct. 31. Learn more here.
“I recently asked the owner of my favorite caffé close to Piazza Danti in Perugia what makes a good tourist. She said first, they have to be polite, and second, it’s nice when they try the language, even if it’s just 20 words.. I’ve been thinking of this concept a lot after arriving in Perugia two weeks ago. And since Perugia is so centrally located, it was a breeze to get on a train and visit Florence and Pisa this past weekend. Getting a taxi at the train station to the leaning Tower in Pisa, the driver didn’t even ask me where I wanted to go, she just said, “Andiamo!”
I wanted to engage a bit more, so I explained (in Italian) that I naturally wanted to go to the Tower, but I asked her if she lived in Pisa. “Si, vicino,” she said and smiled, explaining she liked going along the Arno River downtown and some other local places. She said tourists aren’t always nice, but it’s her job.
I decided to I wanted to be a “tourist plus” or “turista più,” as I’m calling it. I want to be a respectful traveler to the locals, for aren’t the locals the most authentic part of the trip? I applied this concept recently on a hunt for a scarf. I stopped into a lovely shop in Perugia where I exchanged greetings with the clerk. After a minute, I re-approached her, explaining in Italian that I am a student and was looking for a light summer scarf. She then started talking in a flurry of Italian and showed me a seemingly secret drawer where she pulled out scarves in different colors, explaining why one was better than the other. (I purchased a fantastic beige one, pictured.) I’m learning L’Universita is my local humble passport to live and travel as a “turista più”!”
Check back later to read Jen’s next installment about her month in Perugia!
One of our members and scholarship recipient, Jen Provenzano (below, left), is in Perugia for the month of September, enjoying classes at Universita per Stranieri, making new friends and exploring the beautiful city of Perugia. Read about her first week in her report below, “The Pausa.”
If you’d like to be considered for a language scholarship in 2018, the Oct. 31 application deadline is coming up fast. Find out more here.
“When my new friends from class from Lithuania, Belgium and England asked me to go out on Friday night, there was a moment’s hesitation…maybe I had been living in Seattle too long to know what solid plans felt like. But here we were, halfway around the world from Seattle, and some lovely ragazze whom I’d known only a few days were going with me to dinner and to a theater performance close to Piazza IV Novembre in Perugia.
How wonderful it is to have Italian in common, and to figure out what other similarities we share. One thing we all don’t have at home is “La Pausa,” which is the common Italian break between lunch and dinner where many shops close and employees go home to rest and enjoy lunch.
One thing is for sure…once I return to the States I’d like our sister city mayors to discuss the importance of instituting a Pausa in Seattle! But for now, I’m enjoying very much already my Pausa from normal life back home and the Perugian life in front of me.”
Look for Jen’s next installment on life in Perugia soon!
Remember: We have moved up our application deadline for our scholarship program. The new application deadline is October 31. Take the time to apply now!
Applicants must be an SPSCA member in good standing, at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen. You must also have a basic knowledge of the Italian language.
The chance to learn Italian at the famous Universita per Stranieri in Perugia is too good to let slip through your fingers! Go to our scholarship page now to read more about it.
Download your application form today! The October 31 deadline is just two months away.